The Resource Bridge of Clay, Markus Zusak

Bridge of Clay, Markus Zusak

Label
Bridge of Clay
Title
Bridge of Clay
Statement of responsibility
Markus Zusak
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father's disappearance. At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge--for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?
Storyline
Writing style
Award
Librarians' Choice (Australia), 2018
Review
  • Grades 10-12 /* Starred Review */ Here are the five Dunbar brothers: reliable Matthew, the oldest and the eloquent narrator of this extraordinary book; incorrigible Rory; Puck, with a pair of fists; Henry, who—with a talent for making money—knows the odds; Clay, the fourth son and protagonist, is “the best of us,” according to Matthew; and youngest Tommy, the animal collector. Their mother is dead, and their father has fled, until, one day, he returns to ask for help building a bridge. Only Clay agrees to help, and their bridge quickly assumes symbolic value. Zusak (The Book Thief, 2006) offers up a narrative that is really two stories: one of the present, the story of the bridge and of Clay’s love for the girl across the street; and the second of the past, occupied by the boys’ childhood and stories that Clay loves—The Iliad, The Odyssey. The tone is sometimes somber and always ominous, leaving readers anxious about the fates of these characters whom they have grown to love. Zusak pushes the parameters of YA in this gorgeously written novel: a character has scrap-metal eyes; rain is like a ghost you could walk through. In the end, it always comes back to Clay, that lovely boy, as a neighbor calls him. A lovely boy and an unforgettably lovely book to match. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A national author tour, insane marketing, and an initial 500,000 print run await Zusak's first novel since his critically acclaimed, best-selling The Book Thief. Expect another sensation. -- Michael Cart (Reviewed 9/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 115, number 1, p106)
  • Gr 8 Up—An epic tale about grief, loss, and reconciliation. The Dunbar brood has fended for itself ever since their mother died from cancer and their father abandoned them. The five young men lead practically lawless lives in a ramshackle house filled to the brim with dirty dishes and stray animals. Their haphazard existence is interrupted by the return of their estranged father, who hopes to build a stone bridge with the help of his offspring. Clay is the only sibling who agrees to help. This hefty tome jumps across multiple time lines, from their mother's escape from Eastern Europe to her heartbreaking illness and from the father's abandonment to the present day, in which the eldest brother Matthew, now in his 30s, is recording their story on an old typewriter. Heavily influenced by the Homeric poems that the family enjoys, the plot is teeming with metaphors and episodic feats. Clay, the focus of the novel, takes on a mythic sheen in Matthew's recounting that will remind YA fans of Jerry Spinelli's Maniac Magee or Craig Silvey's Jasper Jones. The narrative becomes unwieldy in places because of the evocative prose, and sometimes the family saga is overpowered by various subplots. Even though bits of humor and one-liners leaven the work, the testosterone-infused dialogue may turn off some teens. VERDICT Give this to strong readers who enjoy weighty coming-of-age novels that blur the line between young adult and adult fiction.—Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journa --Shelley M. Diaz (Reviewed 11/01/2018) (School Library Journal, vol 64, issue 11, p80)
  • /* Starred Review */ This exquisitely written multigenerational family saga by Zusak (The Book Thief), his first novel in 13 years, weaves the story of a missing father and a bridge-building brother. The five Dunbar brothers are beholden to only themselves after the death of their mother and abandonment by their father (“Our mother was dead./ Our father had fled”). Matthew, the eldest, puts their story to paper by way of “the old TW,” a typewriter: “Let me tell you about our brother./ The fourth Dunbar boy named Clay./ Everything happened to him./ We were all of us changed through him.” Slipping back and forth in time, the book maps a complex history: grown and married with two children, Matthew recounts their mother’s immigration to the United States at age 18, their father’s upbringing and first marriage, and young life in the chaotic, loving Dunbar household of five boys—then devastation after their father disappears. The deftly woven threads build tension as Zusak’s skillful use of foreshadowing and symbolism brings long-held secrets to the surface. With heft and historical scope, Zusak creates a sensitively rendered tale of loss, grief, and guilt’s manifestations. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 08/06/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 32, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ In this rollicking new novel by Zusak (The Book Thief), we meet the Dunbar boys: narrator Matthew; wild Rory; bridge builder Clay; Henry, the entrepreneur; and Tommy, the animal lover. The Dunbars' interactions bring to mind cartoons in which characters are locked together with fists flying and pain inflicted, and the narrative takes on big themes such as love, death, sin, abandonment, and redemption. After having left the boys on their own, their father, Michael, returns to ask for their help in building a bridge across a river. Only Clay rises to the challenge. Each chapter stands on its own, focusing on different characters, including Michael, from a small Australian town; the boys' mother, Penny, from Eastern Europe; and Carey Novac, an aspiring jockey and Clay's love interest. Invoking the Iliad and the Odyssey, the story creates its own larger-than-life mythologies. VERDICT Though the movement from one chapter to the next can be confusing—the novel would have benefited from more editing and tightening—Zusak just loves his characters (including the animals), and the reader will, too. Marketed for a YA audience in the United States but best suited to strong YA readers and adults. --Jacqueline Snider (Reviewed Winter2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 21, p74)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10732757
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Zusak, Markus
Dewey number
  • 823/.92
  • [Fic]
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.Z837
LC item number
Bri 2018
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 8
  • 12
NLM call number
PZ 7.Z837
NLM item number
Bri 2018
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Brothers
  • Abandoned children
  • Secrecy
  • Families
  • Bridges
  • Brothers
  • Abandoned children
  • Secrets
  • Family life
  • Bridges
  • Secrecy
  • Abandoned children
  • Bridges
  • Brothers
  • Families
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Bridge of Clay, Markus Zusak
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1033551181
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
537 pages
Isbn
9780375945595
Lccn
2018013864
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1033551181
Label
Bridge of Clay, Markus Zusak
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1033551181
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
537 pages
Isbn
9780375945595
Lccn
2018013864
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1033551181

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